Managerless following the resignation of Garry Vaughan earlier in the day, the Rams at last brought a halt to the long line of scoreless defeats with an, at best, creditable draw against fellow relegatees Colwyn Bay.

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division
Tuesday 19 April 2016
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Attendance: 110

This was a game lacking any real passion and even less quality in front of a diminishing home support.  There were some bright spots in terms of individual performances particularly from the younger members of the squad but yet again this was a display that lacked the organisational wherewithal and physicality to survive at this level – or prosper at the level below next season.  Stand-in manager Wayne Goodison displayed his ability to coach at junior level by eliciting improving performances from players such as Zak Hargreaves and Bevan Burey who put in an energetic and positive first-half performances before fading in the second – but overall this was school ground football being played by schoolboys.

As is customary, the Rams had gone behind within the first ten minutes.  Carl Lamb drifted into the box from down the left unimpeded by any sense of tackle and his pull back was emphatically thumped home by Jack Kelleher.  In the 15 minutes the visitors could have been four up and out of sight as a series of straight-forward through balls over the top found the Rams defence all at sea pleading for a none existent off-side flag.  If that was a coherent defensive strategy it had all the effectiveness of a mouse trap without any cheese.  On each occasion Jordan Harper raced through clear on goal but one effort went into the side netting, another on to the roof of the net and the third well saved by Grant Shenton.

Then, out of the blue, the Rams realised that they might just have the legs of the Colwyn Bay defenders.  Bevan Burey burst into life and having twice got to the by-line without result then did so again and pulled the ball back to Hargreaves whose shot was cleared off the line and returned to whence it came.  This time Burey’s cross found Jake Cliffe who headed over the keeper and into the net.

Next, a quick long clearance from Grant Shenton, for once having the necessary precision, sent John Pritchard clear on the left.  His cross found its way onto Danny Wilkins’ knee and from there onto Colwyn skipper Carl Rodgers who was only able to turn the ball into his own net.  With that the Rams went into the break in the most unusual position of being in front.

Colwyn Bay took as long to score in the second half as they had in the first – Harper finding it a bit too easy to spin away onto to a through ball and drive low and accurately into the far corner.  One of the many issues the Rams need to address is being alert from the outset of each half.

The game then descended into a bit of an inconsequential mess with neither team really looking like being able to to impose themselves.  Then, with the best part of 25 minutes left, Colwyn Bay were reduced to ten men for retaliation and any hope that the Rams might have had of winning disappeared.  If they struggle against 11, playing against 10 is a mountain too far.  The home fans would had more success playing “Where’s Wally” than trying to spot the Rams extra man and it was the visitors breaking with pace who had the better possession and posed the greater threat.

For the Rams, sub Joe Shaw saw a shot from distance spin away from the outside of the post but Andy Farrimond most probably had it covered and then in added on time Burey thought he had scored when the keeper spilled a high cross but saw his shot deflected wide.

In summary better but against poor opponents nowhere near good enough.

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